The Memorial Marathon approaching quickly! Whether you are a runner or just participating in the celebration of this wonderful event, there are many ways to fuel your body for it. But, just because it helps you during the race, doesn’t mean it isn’t harming your teeth! I want to discuss some healthier alternatives to fuel your race, that won’t harm your teeth in the process!
This is my first half marathon and I have learned so much in the process. The one thing I learned is that my body needs fuel to be able to run 13.1 miles. In order to have a successful run hydration and fuel before, during, and after your race is key. Water is the most sensible option to hydrate, but there are also so many different sports/electrolyte drinks out there! How do you know which ones are good and which ones are bad for your teeth? Well anything that is chock full of sugar, like Gatorade or Powerade, are not good for your teeth. But I have found some healthier alternatives to these common sports drinks! One product that I love is Nuun tablets. These are sugar-free electrolyte tablets that you add to your water for all your hydrating needs. The tablets are great before and after your run, and you don’t have to worry about adding more sugar to your diet.
In addition to hydrating before and during a race, you also have to fuel your body with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugar, but there are good and bad kinds of sugar. Making smart carb choices are important, especially for the race. Before a run, I like to either eat a banana or whole wheat bread with just a little bit of peanut butter. It helps give me the substance to get going on my run. But, during the run, you have to continue to fuel! When you reach 6 miles your body needs glucose to keep going. There are tons of products out there to use during races, however reading the labels of most I was shocked to learn how much sugar was in each of them! I found that Gu Energy Gel is one of the glucose products with the least amount of sugar. It contains 6 grams of sugar compared to some of the others that had anywhere between 11-14 grams of sugar. I was really happy with this product because I knew it would help fuel my body and keep my teeth healthy. When consuming anything with sugar be sure to drink plenty of water afterward to keep your teeth happy and healthy!
When your race day approaches, be sure to think of your teeth. There are many healthy options out there to help hydrate and fuel your runs. Be sure to read your labels before buying a product for your race day!
– Olivia Hart, RDH